Cesare Borgia

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Borgia, Cesare or Caesar

(chā`zärā bōr`jä), 1476–1507, Italian soldier and politician, younger son of Pope Alexander VIAlexander VI,
1431?–1503, pope (1492–1503), a Spaniard (b. Játiva) named Rodrigo de Borja or, in Italian, Rodrigo Borgia; successor of Innocent VIII. He took Borja as his surname from his mother's brother Alfonso, who was Pope Calixtus III.
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 and an outstanding figure of the Italian Renaissance. Throughout his pontificate Alexander VI used his position to aggrandize his son and establish a papal empire in N and central Italy. Archbishop of Valencia and a cardinal by 1493, Cesare resigned the dignity after the death (1498) of his elder brother, the duke of Gandia, in whose murder he was probably involved. He now began his political career as papal legate to France. He struck an alliance with King Louis XII who made him duke of Valentinois (Valence), and married (1499) Charlotte d'Albret, a sister of the king of Navarre. The French having overrun Italy (see Italian WarsItalian Wars,
1494–1559, series of regional wars brought on by the efforts of the great European powers to control the small independent states of Italy. Renaissance Italy was split into numerous rival states, most of which sought foreign alliances to increase their
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), Cesare, with his father's encouragement, subdued (1499–1500) the cities of the RomagnaRomagna
, historic region, N central Italy, bordering on the Adriatic Sea in the east, now included in the regions of Emilia-Romagna, Marche, and Tuscany. Although its boundaries varied at different times, the Romagna is now understood to occupy Forlì and Ravenna provs.
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 one by one. Made duke of Romagna (1501) by the pope, Cesare also seized (1502) Piombino, Elba, Camerino, and the duchy of Urbino, and he crowned his achievements by artfully luring his chief enemies to the castle of Senigallia, where he had some of them strangled. By killing his enemies, packing the college of cardinals, pushing his conquests as fast as possible, and buying the loyalty of the Roman gentry, he had hoped to make his position independent of the papacy, or at least to insure that the election of any future pope would be to his liking. But before his schemes could be realized, Cesare was struck in 1503 by the same poison (or illness) that suddenly killed his father. Cesare recovered; however, his political power had suffered a fatal blow. Pius III, after a short reign, was succeeded by Julius IIJulius II,
1443–1513, pope (1503–13), an Italian named Giuliano della Rovere, b. Savona; successor of Pius III. His uncle Sixtus IV gave him many offices and created him cardinal.
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, an implacable enemy of Cesare Borgia. Louis XII then turned against him. Julius demanded the immediate return of what territory remained to Cesare and had him temporarily arrested. Returning to Naples, Cesare was soon arrested by the Spanish governor there as the result of collusion between Julius II and the Spanish rulers, Ferdinand and Isabella. Sent to prison in Spain, he escaped and finally found refuge (1506) at the court of the king of Navarre. He died fighting for him at Viana. His former possessions had passed under direct papal rule; thus, Cesare must be regarded as instrumental in the consolidation of the Papal States, even if that was not his purpose. Cesare has long been considered the model of the Renaissance prince, the prototype of Niccolò Machiavelli's Prince—intelligent, cruel, treacherous, and ruthlessly opportunistic.


See biographies by M. Mallett, The Borgias (1969) and E. R. Chamberlain, Fall of the House of Borgia (1989).

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Borgia, Cesare

(1476–1507) unscrupulously plotted against friend and foe. [Ital. Hist.: Plumb, 59–61]
See: Cunning

Borgia, Cesare

(1476–1507) prototype of Machiavelli’s “Prince”: intelligent and ruthlessly opportunistic. [Ital. Hist.: Plumb, 59]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Jaffa and Bloom both mention that the Duke's political use of Angelo is similar to Cesare Borgia's use of Remirro de Orco, described by Machiavelli in Book VII of The Prince, but neither of them does much with the parallel.
La riorganizzazione dello Stato della Chiesa" (68-69); "Il periodo della grande proliferazione degli statuti comunali" (69-70); "Cesare Borgia nella Marca" (70-74); "I passaggi delle truppe straniere nella Marca.
Cesare Borgia (1475-1507), backed by his father Pope Alexander VI (1431-1503), was leading a military campaign whose aim was to carve out his own personal princedom.
It represents Andreotti and his court like that of Cesare Borgia or Cosimo di Medici, Italy's other sometimes-philanthropic gangsters, after a superficial make-over.
Especially useful are Delio Proverbio's identification of many of Federico's Hebrew manuscripts as booty taken from a Jewish merchant of Volterra, and Martin Davies's painstaking reconstruction of the duke's lost collection of 51 printed books, which were listed in an early inventory and perhaps plundered by Cesare Borgia in 1502.
THE PRINCE first appeared in 1517 to offer unparalleled insights into statecraft: using the model of one Cesare Borgia, a ruthless prince, Machiavelli revealed some of the most basic human emotions of corruption and leadership's capabilities.
On his way to reviewing virtu in Hegel, Kant, Spinoza, and Nietzsche, Fontana deploys two paradigms of the concept--one modeled on Cesare Borgia, the other on Julius II.
It does not simply paint a picture of Cesare Borgia; it worships him.
Presenting himself as a military architect and engineer, Leonardo goes on to win the patronage of warlord Cesare Borgia, and meets the brilliant but scheming Niccolo Machiavelli.
The Scot, currently filming low-budget thriller Young Adam in Glasgow, has been given the chance to star as the dastardly 16th-century Italian Cesare Borgia after Mortensen opted for a Disney Western, Hidalgo, instead.
After Federico's death in 1482, the palace treasures were gradually dispersed (helped for instance by the sack of Moltefeltro by Cesare Borgia in 1502).